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Bormio, at an elevation of 4019 feet (1225 meters), is too high for the cultivation of grapes and the production of wine, and this wonderful work is done in low and mid Valtellina, where, on the Rhaetian (south facing) side of the valley, you can admire the beautiful terraced vineyards. A walk along the Via dei Terrazzamenti (the Road of the terraced vineyards)and a visit to the wine cellars is an experience not to be missed.
The Alta Valtellina, however, can boast an excellent production of grappa, bitters, and liqueurs, all based on alpine herbs, where with each sip, you can taste the aroma of the mountains.
Braulio and Taneda
After a typical alpine meal, a glass of Braulio or Taneda is the ideal digestivo (an after dinner drink to “aid the digestion”). Braulio is an alpine bitter made of herbs gathered in the area, but with a secret ingredient that only the owner knows. Unusual for a digestivo, is the 2 years of aging in Slavonian oak casks for Baulio, and 5 years of aging for the production of the Braulio Reserve.
During the summer and winter seasons, every Tuesday and Friday, you can visit the wine cellars where Braulio is produced, which lie under Via Roma (Bormio’s pedestrian-only main street), with its huge casks for aging, and you can try to glean all the secrets of Braulio’s preparation and preservation.
Taneda, on the other hand, is the dialectal name of Achillea moschata, also known as Erba Iva, an alpine plant that grows above 6561 feet (2000 meters), up to the limit of the perpetual snow and glaciers. Only the flowers are used for the preparation of the liquor, which in fact assumes a light yellowish color. Ideal as a digestivo (“aid to the digestion”), it is recommended to be enjoyed after meals, and it can also be served hot.
Genepy, worms and grappa
Several other Bormio liqueurs deserve special mention, such as Genepy, based on Artemisia glacialis (Glacier Wormwood), a herbaceous plant typical of the Alps that grows from 6561 to 9842 feet (2000 to 3000 meters), and an orange brandy called Worms (possibly from the German Worms in Veltlin for Bormio in Valtellina). Plus, there are liqueurs basedon fruit, chamomile, and honey, as well as an abundant production of grappa, typically white, soft and dry, but also with the essence of honey or fruit, in particular blueberry.